Hyundai Entourage Minivan Killed

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Later this year, Hyundai will finally axe the slow-selling Entourage, which only managed 8,400 sales during all of 2008. That was down 50% from 2007.

U.S. Hyundai CEO John Krafcik said the Entourage was a “cheap lesson in why you don’t do badge engineering.” Hyundai launched the Entourage in 2007 at the behest of Hyundai dealers who said they needed a minivan.

Over the past few years, Hyundai and Kia (a wholly owned subsidiary of Hyundai) have started to sell divergent ranges of models, with Kia as the price leader and Hyundai moving more upmarket. Premium amenity-laden vehicles like the Genesis and Veracruz from Hyundai and inexpensive yet functional ones like the Rondo and Soul from Kia illustrate this point.

This move should give the Kia Sedona more breathing room; the model only sold 27,000 units in 2008, down about 30% from 2007. Overall, though, the minivan segment is in decline, with GM, Ford and now Hyundai abandoning the body style.

NY Auto Show: Hyundai Dumps Van. Just Says No To Badge Engineering (BusinessWeek)

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